Trade licence essentials

To work as a builder, contractor, tradesperson or trade apprentice in NSW you need a contractor licence.

You must have a valid licence before you contract, sub-contract or advertise to do:

  • residential building work where the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials is more than $5,000 (including GST)
  • all electrical wiring work
  • all plumbing, drainage and gasfitting work
  • all air-conditioning and refrigeration work (except plug in appliances).

The type of licence you need depends on whether you will work as an employee, a sole trader or as part of a company or partnership. Licence fees vary depending on the type of licence you need and its duration

Individual contractor licence

You need an individual contractor licence as a builder or tradesperson to directly contract, sub-contract and/or advertise to do residential building work in NSW. Apply for an individual contractor's licence (PDF).


Fill out the application form for an individual contractor licence.


Attach the following documents:

  • Proof of identity documents
  • One passport-size photograph
  • Documents to meet the qualification requirements
  • Your referees’ statements (where applicable)

Submit your application and all the supporting documents to Service NSW.

Apply now for an individual contractor’s licence. (PDF)

Company or Partnership contractor licence

If your company or partnership wants to contract, sub-contract and/or advertise to do residential building work in NSW, you need a company or partnership contractor's licence.

If you have a company or partnership contractor licence, you will still need your own qualified supervisor certificate (a type of licence) or to employ someone who has one as your nominated qualified supervisor. Apply for a partnership contractor licence

Apply for a company contractor licence

Qualified supervisor's certificate

If you want to supervise residential building work in NSW, you need to have a qualified supervisor’s certificate.

Apply now for a qualified supervisor's certificate

To apply for a licence you may need to show existing licences, qualifications, experience, insurance, proof of identity, and pay an application fee. Use these checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

General builder’s checklist

Use the general building work application checklist (PDF) if your work involves home construction, alterations or additions.

Other trades' checklist

Use the checklist for other trades (PDF)  to apply for an endorsed contractor licence, a qualified supervisor certificate or other trade licences.

Specialist trade checklist

Use the checklist for specialist trades (PDF) to apply for an endorsed contractor licence, a qualified supervisor certificate, or a specialist categories tradesperson certificate.

Several weeks before your licence or certificate is due to expire, Fair Trading will automatically mail a renewal form to you. Make sure your contact details are up to date. If you don’t receive your renewal notice in the mail, contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

Avoid paying a fee by renewing your licence online or in person at your nearest Service NSW or Government Access Centre.

If your licence expires

If your licence expires and you don’t apply to renew it within three months, you’ll need to reapply for your licence and pay a new application fee. You cannot trade until you receive your new licence.

If your circumstances change, it may affect your eligibility to hold a licence or certificate.

Find out when and how you need to notify Fair Trading if your name, address or circumstances change.